Abstract: This paper will look into the pay gap within the tourism industry and how male and female workers are treated differently when it comes to opportunities and promotions within the industry. It will consider the way in which male employees are favoured within higher paid and managerial jobs and the impact this can have on other employees and female workers.
Key Words: Pay Gap, Equality, Women Empowerment, Feminized
Within the tourism industry it is no surprise that they has always been a gap between female and male employees and the gap between them has led to many different issues within the tourism industry and led to female workers feeling demotivated within their jobs knowing than male workers would be getting paid more to do the same job in which they do too. The majority of the tourism workforce is made up of women with 60% of the workforce being women, though only 6% of the women’s workforce are hospitality board directors which does beg to question why the male percentage of the workforce seem to get the better jobs and be hired for the manger roles despite them being the lower percentage of the overall tourism industry workforce (Witts, 2015). According to the guardian men who work for TUI are paid nearly twice as much as women that work for them, though majority of staff that work for them are women. On average men earn 56.9% more per hour more than women and tui’s median pay gap is at 47.3%. It is said that these pay gaps are stemmed from a low representation of women in highly paid jobs and roles within the company such as pilots, technology and senior management.
For many companies it is important that they have an equal balance of women and male workers within there businesses as it makes commercial sense but because of the lack of equality when it comes to pay and opportunities for promotion it can make it hard for companies to achieve such goals within their business. Ibis hotels are one company which are closing the division on the gender pay gap and are looking more into what the employees has to offer the company instead of paying their employees by their gender. For example there managers are paid by past experience, the size of the hotel and how it is run. By ibis paying their employees in this way it allows for them as a company to start to break the gender pay gap and something that other companies should start to look into implementing into their companies (Eversham, 2018).
Gender equality and women empowerment has been and continues to be a concern in and throughout the tourism industry and this is particularly clear due to the amount of barriers that women employees face whilst as work such as pay and looking for advances within their career. There are many reasons to why women feel limited within their careers and with a lack of motivation and encouragement from those they work with it means that they don’t try to presume higher paid jobs due to felling men will out do them.
Social norms, culture and educations are all things that participate to women not having the opportunities they would want and need to progress within their careers. Through the tourism industry is 60:40 female to male the majority of highly paid job are run by male employees and they seem to dominate the managerial roles. This can cause a lot of division when it comes to working in the tourism industry and make a clear divide between women and male employees.
Many jobs within and throughout the tourism industry are seen as feminised jobs and roles. They are seen as jobs that women would normally do and be hired for. Over the year many of these jobs where seen as male dominate roles but overtime have been adapted and have become female dominant roles for example hotel receptionists are now seen as purely female roles. Due to the vast amount of lower paid jobs being feminized it has led to the status of these role decreasing and along with it pay leaving them to become sexualized jobs. People who would be hired for these roles would need to be very attractive, discriminating against someone who could be better qualified for the job over there appearance. This also led to more women employees being vulnerable to sexual harassment in the workplace (Guerrier & Adib, 2004). Housekeeping jobs are another example of a job which is strongly feminized due to the idea that women do the cooking and cleaning and by being in such a role they are using their domestic skills at work, they are normally filled with women migrant workers of diverse nationalities normally with poor skills due to them being expected to be invisible and to go about their work without disrupting guests.
Overall the industries pay gap is something that will continue for years to come, women will continue to be vulnerable and discriminated against. With companies like ibis trying to close the gender pay gap there is hope for a more equal workforce and for women to start and get the recognition they deserve to have.
Eversham, E. (2018). Gender pay gap? Not an issue at Accor’s Ibis hotels. [online] bighospitality.co.uk. Available at: https://www.bighospitality.co.uk/Article/2015/11/09/Gender-pay-gap-Not-an-issue-at-Accor-s-Ibis-hotels
[Accessed 6 May 2018].
Guerrier, Y and Adib, A. (2004) Gendered Identities in the Work of Overseas Tour Reps, Gender, Work and Organization, 11(3), pp. 334-350.
Witts, S. (2015). Hospitality industry shamed over gender pay gap. [online] bighospitality.co.uk. Available at: https://www.bighospitality.co.uk/Article/2015/04/16/Hospitality-industry-shamed-over-gender-pay-gap
[Accessed 6 May 2018].